50-Year Couples Renew Wedding Vows at Jubilee Mass


Vincent and Patricia Kain met at a party when they were 13 years old and “something just clicked.” They’ve been together ever since.

The parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Catharine in Pelham Manor renewed their vows at the Golden Jubilee Wedding Mass Cardinal Dolan celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral June 2.

“I’m so grateful my family is here and it’s such a special day,” Patricia, 72, told CNY. “We had our anniversary a couple of months ago but this is what it’s about. This is the anniversary. This is very special.

“I didn’t really think much about this until I saw something in the church bulletin about the 50th anniversary Mass. I said we should do that. We should go back, reflect back on the day we got married and to do it here at St. Patrick’s is really special to us.”

The Kains, who celebrated their anniversary March 22, were among the 288 jubilee couples that registered for the Mass. In all, 370 couples representing 117 parishes are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2019. The couples will each receive a certificate marking the milestone in the coming weeks.

“We listen to each other. We understand one another,” said Vincent, 73, who continued his relationship with Patricia while he served in the U.S. Air Force in Germany for a few years.

In his homily, Cardinal Dolan congratulated the jubilarians, saying he looks forward to the Mass each year because it gives him the opportunity to tell the couples he loves them, and thank them for their fidelity and the love they’ve shown Jesus and the Church.

“You made a promise to God to love one another for the rest of your lives. He also made a promise to you that he would give you all the grace you need to fulfill the vows you professed,” Cardinal Dolan said.

“Fidelity is something the world needs very much. We need to see people who keep their word. We need to see people who are serious and sincere to the vows they made.”

Cardinal Dolan said he asks jubilarians what they remember most of their time together and they recall the struggles they’ve had.

“They remember the difficulties, the challenges, the hardships the adversities that they’ve had because they see their marriage bond,” the cardinal said. “In the world today, sometimes difficulties, setbacks and adversities are thought of as reasons to quit. You made them reasons to stay together.

“You made them the glue and cement that kept that bond of 50 years ago strong and good. That, my jubilarians, is what we call fidelity. The world and the Church desperately needs lots of examples of fidelity and you have provided it.”

John and Johann Lettieri, parishioners of St. Columba in Hopewell Junction, met in the Bronx through a mutual friend and will celebrate their 50th anniversary Oct. 11.

“This is like the nucleus of all the Catholic churches in the archdiocese,” said John, 72. “It’s so beautiful and pretty. I just love being a part of this.

“It’s amazing because when we first got married, I figured this is not going to last 50 years or 25 years or whatever. Today, I’m more in love with my wife than I’ve ever been in the 50 years we’ve been married. This really is a great, great marriage that we have.”

Johann, 71, said they communicate well and are family oriented. “He keeps me laughing. I think that keeps us going,” she said.

Johann’s brother, John Capozzi, said he was happy to attend the Mass and even happier his sister found someone she’s truly loved.

“They’re two great people,” said John, a parishioner of St. Kevin’s in Flushing, Queens. “They’re nice, very kind, outgoing and generous. I wish them another 50 years of marriage and a happy life.”